SAN DIEGO, April 10, 2017 – Regular fans of ‘Dancing With The Stars’ know by the time “Most Memorable Year” week rolls around, the stars have gotten through the jitters of the first few weeks. Now they are given a chance to tell a personal story through a dance routine and make a connection with the audience through the emotional performance as well as the steps. Nearly every star rises to the occasion and does a worthy job in tribute to someone important to them.
In other words, have the tissues handy!
Normani Kordei and Val Chmerkovskiy danced first this week after closing the show last week. Fifth Harmony came to accompany Normani live for her Rumba. The Rumba is deceptively difficult and Normani stumbled a little by dancing with too much strength instead of fluidity. It still scored 32 points.
Nick Viall and Peta Murgatroyd had to follow with another Rumba in tribute to his fiancée from “The Bachelor,” and it wasn’t as successful in comparison. The fluidity required for the Rumba is even tougher for the men, but Peta did a good job with good choreography, and the routine scored 30 points.
Nancy Kerrigan and Artem Chigvintsev performed a beautiful Foxtrot telling the story of her battle with miscarriage and the need for open conversation about mental health, something many people can relate to in the audience. It was unexpected and the first real tearjerker of the evening. It was a beautiful, romantic dance filled with a hopeful spirit. It scored 33 points.
Mr. T and Kym Herjavec danced a Waltz to an arrangement by DWTS bandleader Ray Chew, depicting the story of being a cancer survivor and having faith. It showed tremendous improvement. Mr. T has charmed fans week after week, but he is struggling to stay close to the rest of the pack. The dance scored 28 points.
Heather Morris and Alan Bersten changed up the mood with a Cha Cha to “Shut Up And Dance,” and the style was right in her sweet spot It scored a solid 35 points from the judges. Was it a little overscored given it’s one of the easier dance styles and Heather is a pro dancer? You decide.
Chicago Cubs fans got to watch David Ross and Lindsay Arnold perform their Viennese Waltz live on the Jumbotron at Wrigley Field before tonight’s Cubs game. The song choice “Forever Young” was his walk up song played when he came up to bat at home, something the Cubs have only done for a few years. David did a wonderful job and proves there are still nice guys out there. It scored 31 points.
Erika Jayne and Gleb Savchenko had fun with a Cha Cha to Madonna’s “Express Yourself.” Was there more striking a pose than dancing? Give it credit for entertainment value at least. It scored 30 points. This is the one couple who doesn’t seem to be improving a lot at this point.
Rashad Jennings and Emma Slater established themselves as the couple to beat this season with a tribute to Rashad’s father, a Vietnam Veteran. Their Contemporary stole the show. Emma gave Rashad powerful choreography playing up his many strengths and it was both physically and emotionally breathtaking. It received three tens and Len Goodman’s single nine for by far the highest score of the season by a mile, and well deserved.
Simone Biles and Sasha Farber followed with another heartfelt tribute to a father, who took in Simone as a foster child and who was present in the audience. Their Viennese Waltz allowed Simone to show her grace and softer side, which is the most difficult challenge for her. She began the dance holding back tears, but she held it together and received all nines for 36 points.
Poor Bonner Bolton was nearly an afterthought at this point. He danced a Foxtrot with Sharna Burgess to a familiar favorite, “Feeling Good” by Michael Buble. He is improving but he’s still struggling a little with fluidity. But he benefitted from the high scores preceding him and got a bump from the judges good for 32 points.
Fans knew they would need to brace themselves for a tough elimination this week. Without enough votes, it was going to be tough for Mr. T. to stick around – and after Erika and Gleb were the last couple called safe, Mr. T and pro partner Kym Herjavec said goodbye on a high note. We pity ourselves for not seeing Mr. T again next week.
Week 4 Leaderboard:
Rashad Jennings and Emma Slater, Contemporary: 10-9-10-10 = 39 points
Simone Biles and Sasha Farber: Viennese Waltz: 9-9-9-9 = 36 points
Heather Morris and Alan Bersten, Cha Cha: 8-9-9-9 = 35 points
Nancy Kerrigan and Artem Chigvintsev, Foxtrot: 8-9-8-8 = 33 points
Bonner Bolton and Sharna Burgess, Foxtrot: 8-8-8-8 = 32 points
Normani Kordei and Val Chmerkovskiy, Rumba: 8-7-8-9 – 32 points
David Ross and Lindsay Arnold, Viennese Waltz: 7-8-8-8 = 31 points
Erika Jayne and Gleb Savchenko, Cha Cha: 8-7-7-8 = 30 points
Nick Viall and Peta Murgatroyd, Rumba: 8-7-8-7 = 30 points
Mr. T and Kym Herjavec, Waltz: 7-7-7-7 = 28 points
Viewers may cast their votes for their favorite couples via phone during and up to 60 minutes after the end of the “Dancing with the Stars” broadcast in each time zone. Online voting at ABC.com and on Facebook is open for 24 hours, beginning from the start of each episode on the East Coast at 8:00 p.m. EDT/5:00 p.m. PDT and closing at 8 p.m. ET/5 p.m. PT on Tuesday evenings.
Gayle Lynn Falkenthal, APR, is President/Owner of the Falcon Valley Group in San Diego, California. She is veteran boxing observer covering the Sweet Science for Communities. Read more TV Den in Communities Digital News. Follow Gayle on Facebook and on Twitter @PRProSanDiego.
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